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Tony Grist

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Trumpety-Trump [Dec. 23rd, 2016|01:37 pm]
Tony Grist
An American friend who is distraught about Trump and admires the Clintons is sending me furious emails about how terrible the Republicans are. I don't exactly disagree, but my considered opinion is that the Democrats aren't much better- and anyway Trump is only nominally a Republican- and she won't be having it.  I'm trying to keep my temper but it's hard. Every attempt to mollify or distract or philosophise is met with more shouting. If I do anything but wholeheartedly agree with her I get an essay about how furious she is and how I'm little better than an appeaser of nazis.

We went through a storm of this a few week back- and then it died down because I told her to stop. I've told her again. I don't want to lose her friendship but this isn't how friends behave.

At the moment I'm holding my peace about Trump. He keeps sending out signals- and one tweet contradicts the last and it's hard to say whether this is because he's scatterbrained or because like a World War II bomber trying to confuse enemy radar he's throwing out chaff. I refuse to jump up and down and call him a moron and a nazi because I don't think we have sufficient information yet. Also it's unintelligent. He's a political phenomenon the likes of which we've never seen before- besides being a very odd human being- and shouting out the insults of yesteryear is like firing a shotgun at a distant moving target.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: cmcmck
2016-12-23 01:58 pm (UTC)
I disagree on one level- we very much have seen people like him before- all the left/right populist nationalists like Mosely, Mussolini and Hitler- the early Scots nats like Grieve too.

They weren't called national socialists for nothing and the fascists fled back to socialist first principles in the ever ghastly puppet Salo republic at the end of WW2.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-12-23 02:12 pm (UTC)
I don't see Trump as a replay of the 30s dictators and wannabe dictators. He's not a politician (except by accident), he doesn't have a private army behind him and it's still not clear what he stands for. The closest I can come to a forerunner is Silvio Berlusconi.
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[User Picture]From: cmcmck
2016-12-23 05:00 pm (UTC)
Darling Sylvio didn't really have Trump's sort of populism although he was equally a crook- difference being that he got caught!
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2016-12-23 02:23 pm (UTC)
Can't you just tell your excitable friend that there's no point telling you all this stuff because you don't vote in U.S. elections?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-12-23 02:59 pm (UTC)
I've done that. It doesn't cut any ice. She thinks she knows how I would have voted if I'd been a citizen and that's good enough.
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[User Picture]From: heleninwales
2016-12-23 05:31 pm (UTC)
Trump concerns me because he's a loose cannon and has a very thin skin. Also, everything is "me, me, me" with him and I can't see him listening to his advisers. He can't run the US via tweets sent at 2.30 a.m. after some satirical comedy show has enraged him.

But I do think that the Democrats put up the wrong candidate and all this could have been avoided if they hadn't somehow felt that Hillary "deserved" to have a shot at being president.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-12-23 05:40 pm (UTC)
The Trump presidency will be interesting- possibly in the Chinese sense of the word.

I agree about Hillary.
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[User Picture]From: tagryn
2016-12-28 11:22 am (UTC)
I recall there being a rumor after he won the GOP nomination that one of his sons went to Kasich with an offer to be VP, saying that he would be in charge of running the day-to-day of the government because DT would be too busy "making America great again." As a #NeverTrumper Kasich turned him down, but seeing how things have played out so far with the transition, it wouldn't surprise me if Pence is in charge of more areas that even Cheney was (basically everything Trump finds boring to deal with).

I think Biden would have won in a landslide, had he wanted it. Sanders would likely have won as well - in an election where his proposals actually were subjected to a close look he might have been in trouble, but that wasn't a election about policy, on either side.
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[User Picture]From: fflo
2016-12-23 05:46 pm (UTC)
I suppose it's best you don't mention that Hillary is only nominally a Democrat. Unless one's definition or idea of that term is the favored one by established DNC type powers.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-12-23 05:53 pm (UTC)
My friend is very keen on the Clintons. She won't accept that they've ever set a foot wrong.

It leads to double standards. Donald Trump has been accused of rape and obviously he's guilty. Bill Clinton has been accused of rape and just as obviously he's innocent.
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[User Picture]From: fflo
2016-12-23 06:00 pm (UTC)
We're way too caught up on personalities and impressions of personalities and defending/hating personalities. Not that I don't think Trump's (such that we have an impression of it) could lead to real problems. Just there's something insane about focusing so much on which person we like or suggest we should trust. To hell with trust. Up with issues, positions, and vigilance.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-12-23 06:52 pm (UTC)
I think we also overrate the power of an American president. Trump won't be a dictator; the system won't allow it.
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[User Picture]From: fflo
2016-12-23 07:03 pm (UTC)
This is a point. Yet the way Congresspeople roll over, and the way fascism can gather momentum quick, ........
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[User Picture]From: davesmusictank
2016-12-24 01:21 pm (UTC)
Nobody thought Hitler would amount to much but they too rolled over for him.
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[User Picture]From: ideealisme
2016-12-23 06:49 pm (UTC)
I've always felt that deep down it's about race. The guy who said that Trump's win was the last great whitelash was on to something, I think.

I can't help sharing some of your friend's frustrations. There is no equivalence between Clinton's flaws and this...buffoon. Trying to pretend there is, is pure disingenuity. This fellow is dangerously unstable and treating the leadership of the free world like some sort of throw-the-dice game is not something I feel comfortable with. Seeing how Trump has behaved during and after the election, I can't have any common cause with any American who voted him. The stakes are too high to treat this like a game. It's deadly serious.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-12-23 06:57 pm (UTC)
I'm sure race had something to with it, but it's one of many factors. Incidentally I've read that great numbers of black voters stayed away from the polls. If they'd supported Hillary as they supported Obama she'd have won.

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[User Picture]From: matrixmann
2016-12-23 07:19 pm (UTC)
Familiar thing at other stuffs...
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[User Picture]From: sinsterminister
2016-12-23 08:22 pm (UTC)
Went through the same stuff with Bush, Jr. Most of my friends and family are on the left, and when he was in office, it was nothing but discussion about how it was the end of days, especially after 2004 when he got re-elected.

This will probably be more difficult seeing as they all have access to social media, and they didn't back then.

Personally, Trump seems to be nothing but a bunch of hot air at this point. He talks a lot and makes a lot of grand declarations, but I'm holding off until he actually starts doing things. I think there's a decent chance he's just an empty suit letting more competent people handle his business for him (not much different from HIS business).

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-12-23 08:36 pm (UTC)
Politicians come and go. The world survived George W Bush. I imagine it'll survive Trump too.
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[User Picture]From: faunhaert
2016-12-25 03:00 am (UTC)
but bush managed to make me homeless

this has me worried.
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[User Picture]From: evilzerg_r
2016-12-23 10:04 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry, but do you really need such hysterical friend? You can filter him in your mail box till it gets better, four years, may be eight.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-12-24 08:50 am (UTC)
That is what has happened more or less. I wrote last night saying- in effect- this isn't doing either of us any good so lets call it a day- and they said OK.
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[User Picture]From: evilzerg_r
2016-12-24 11:44 am (UTC)
Sad, but it was inevitable. Good American saying tells us that friends do not talk about politics.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-12-24 08:53 pm (UTC)
Very wise.
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